Easter morning, like most, began far to early here with Adrianna toddling in just after 5am with her blankie in tow and excited started to squeak her little "cat! cat! cat!" in response to the orange furball who had been so happily curled up and sound asleep by me.
The cat, have at least some amount of feline instincts, made his quick departure as I scooped up the little peanut and attempted to nestle down and go back to sleep with her in bed with me.
She spent the next hour alternating between pulling my hair and poking her little sharp toes against my ribs, and just when she started to look like she really might actually doze back off Kristina awoke and excitedly bounded into the room with demands of seeing the Easter Bunny.
I cannot begin to properly convey through text alone the sigh that goes through a person's soul when they realize that morning had come whether they wanted it too or not, and that a long day has already begun. But this was the sigh I gave as I hauled myself up into a sitting position and attempted to rub some sight back into my eyes.
It had snowed again last night, only a few inches but enough to make the world damp and as un-spring-looking as imaginable. It also created an intense degree of mud on all of the dirt roads and parking lots, and caused another one of those soul despairing sighs to emerge as I thought of the girls spring dresses and sandals they were to wear to church that morning.
The Easter Bunny did not disappoint, and the girls were delighted with their baskets and the hunt for the chocolate filled eggs around the house. It was one of the mornings where I really wished I drank coffee, as the fabled jolt would have been much appreciated. I miss the mornings when I could wake up and have a few moments to orient myself, to blink away the sleep, to gear myself up for the day.
(I also miss the mornings when I could get dressed without company or the need to repeatedly run out of the bathroom to referee in all sorts of half-dressed states.)
Eventually the girls were settled in front of some Sesame Street as they gorged on egg shaped M&Ms and the adults were able to partake in pancakes so graciously made by my mother.
Getting two small children dressed together with only one adult in the room always resembles a bit of a mad house, but it's a mad house we embrace every day and somewhere along the line stopped feeling like dreaded chaos and merely became another fact of life along with wakeful nights and poopy diapers.
I had enough sense at least to purchase accompanying tights and sweaters for the dresses, full well knowing it wasn't likely to be balmy out, and as one small grace the girls did seem to genuinely like the dresses. They had an extra layer of tulle netting under the skirt to make them stand out at appropriate poof levels, and both have been particularly enamored with tutus in general the last little bit.
(In retrospect, they both would have probably preferred tutus in the first place. I suppose there's always next year.)
I had put Kristina's hair in rollers for the first time the evening before, and she came out of it with some precious pigtails full of curls. Adrianna had wanted rollers as well, and was not to be differed by what she saw as completely irrelevant details such as her minimal quantities of hair. I did my best to secure one on the top of her head, although it ultimately brought about her hair sticking up akin to Alfalfa on The Little Rascals instead of a sweet curl up top.
Going to the Easter Sunday service came with it's own unique challenges, such as loading the children into their car seats without getting them or ourselves covered in mud, as the car was quite the dirty beast. Unloading at the church was even more hazardous, as the parking was on dirt which had been turned into a true quagmire of mud and snow and necessitated carrying of some sandal wearing little feet.
I managed to escape the unloading miraculously without getting mud on my skirt, but the car did decide to sneakily drip some onto the top of my foot and my poor heels have taken up a permanent mud line as a result of walking through it.
I was struck by the look of some of the Nederland kids there on Easter morning. I had forgotten that they have a certain look about them, despite having kindergarten pictures with me lined up amongst them and working at a preschool full of them a few years back. I think it's a combination of wearing snowboots with everything, and it always seeming like clothes are the wrong size and in strange pairings. Some of it I'm sure comes from many of the mountain folk not having much money (or not receiving ample quantities of high quality hand-me-downs), but I think there's also an aspect contributed from the parents and their lack of direction on what to wear. Mountain kids are the ones who go begin school when they're 5 or 6 having never held a crayon or used scissors before. They have hardly ever been read to, much less encouraged to write their name, and their time is spent amusing themselves with what little they have on hand. They learn to take care of themselves early, and to work hard for what they have.
The children's sermon involved 'the colors of Easter' and resulted in jellybean filled eggs being distributed. Kristina happily went off with the rest of them to dip pastel bunny peeps in chocolate (and then eat them, of course), while Adrianna insisted on staying with me and then entertained herself by toddling around the congregation, showing people her jellybeans. Thankfully most are down right amused by her antics, and all seem to tolerate her in stride.
After the service, Adrianna enjoyed a chocolate dipped pink marshmallow as well, and manged to pink the front of my white shirt while she was at it instantly, most certainly reaffirming why I hardly ever wear white tops these days.
By the time we got the girls home again, a true sugar high had set in and they were starting to go more than a little bonkers. Kristina also managed to put a nice layer of mud on her dress exiting the car, and then needed a little coxing to be convinced to change her clothes so I could get it in the wash in hopes of it continuing to be her go to nice dress for the next couple of seasons.
The afternoon was spent reiterating that yes the chocolate was all gone, no they could not have a special treat, yes it was still Easter, and no the Easter Bunny was not going to lay them more chocolate filled eggs from his butt.
Happy Easter and spring!